Wing Commander David Bentley joined the RAF in 1981 as an Airframe/Propulsion Apprentice and, following 3 years of training at RAF Halton, he graduated from his course as �Highest in Overall Order of Merit�, and was posted to RAF Wittering working on the Harrier GR3.  In 1985, he was selected for commissioning into the General Duties (Pilot) Branch.

In 1988, he was posted to 14 Sqn at RAF Bruggen, Germany, flying the Tornado GR1 in the strike/attack role. 

In 1991, he returned to the UK as a Tactics Instructor on 79 Sqn flying the Hawk TMK1A at RAF Brawdy, where the Sqn provided refresher training to senior officers returning to flying duties.  


With the closure of Brawdy in 1992, he was posted to 74 Sqn at RAF Valley still flying the Hawk.  In early 1993, he successfully completed the Hawk Qualified Weapons Instructors Course at RAF Chivenor and returned to 74 Sqn. 

In 1994, he was the RAF Valley Solo Hawk Display Pilot completing 30-plus displays throughout the UK and Europe.  He returned to RAF Br�ggen in 1995, once again flying the Tornado GR1, this time with IX Sqn in the ground attack/SEAD role.  One year into that tour he was promoted to Sqn Ldr and posted as a Flt Cdr to 31 Sqn, still at RAF Bruggen; this being via a 4-month tour as the Mission Director on Op Northern Watch at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey.  He completed his Flt Cdr tour at the end of 1998, and returned to England to become the Air-to-Ground Weapons Specialist within the Air Warfare Centre at RAF Waddington. 

He was promoted to Wg Cdr in Apr 01, and assumed command of the RAF�s Flying Training Development Wing at RAF Halton.  In Feb 03, he deployed to PSAB, Saudi Arabia in support of Op Iraqi Freedom where he was the Assistant Chief of Staff for all UK Air Operations.  In Apr 04, he took command of 19(R) Sqn at RAF Valley, responsible for conducting the RAF�s Tactical Weapons training on the Hawk TMK1A. 

He has just short of 3,000 hours on fast jets and has amassed nearly 22 months on operational deployments to the Middle East in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.  He has been awarded the Gulf War Medal, the Air Operations Iraq Medal and the Op TELIC Medal.  He is married with 2 children and his interests include most sports, visiting historical properties and restoring a period property..


 

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